Recovery Strategies in On-Line Service Failure

Recovery Strategies in On-Line Service Failure

Wilson Ozuem (University of Gloucestershire, UK) and Geoff Lancaster (London School of Commerce, UK)
Copyright: © 2014 |Pages: 17
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-4864-7.ch010
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Abstract

Despite a proliferation of a number of studies on service failures and recovery in e-service settings, there is a paucity of knowledge of ways in which service failures and recovery practices are implemented in the fashion industry. Drawing on constructivist perspective, this study offers a new perspective on an effective relational mechanism that would bridge the rupture between consumers and companies particularly in the on-line fashion sector. The analysis adds to studies on service failures and recovery by elucidating recovery strategies relevant to retailers’ operations in on-line environments. This analysis advances knowledge of on-line service failures and recovery in the UK fashion industry. Findings indicate that consumer expectations of service failures and recovery are context driven, which requires companies to fine-tune their recovery strategies to improve recovery satisfaction.
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Theoretical Frameworks

Technological advancements have led to changes in customer expectations and methods by which businesses interact with consumers (Ozuem, Howell and Lancaster, 2008; Walker, et al., 2002; Rodrigues, 2012; Magnini and Ford 2004). Academic research into the UK fashion industry has formerly considered customer retention and the advantages of the internet in sustaining a loyal consumer base (Ashworth, et al., 2006). Extant literature has focused on quantitative methods to research the means of service recovery from a managerial and operational perspective, in ensuring customer retention. Customers arguably have a life cycle which can be directed if retention strategies are used in the optimal manner (Ang and Buttle, 2006; Sharma, 2009). In their study of self-service technologies in general, including, but not limited to, the internet, Meuter, et al (2000) identified four types of service failures:

  • 1.

    Technology Failures: Those that prevent the customer from engaging with the service (e.g. web site is down or not working properly).

  • 2.

    Process Failures: Those that occur at some point after the customer’s interaction with the web site, but preventing correct service fulfilment from occurring (e.g. items ordered through the internet are never received).

  • 3.

    Poor Design: These affect all customers using the service and can be technology design problems (e.g. web site difficult to navigate) or service design problems (e.g. an aspect of the design of the service beyond the web site interface that the customers do not like, such as the service taking too long to be performed due to the way it has been designed).

  • 4.

    Customer-Driven Failures: Those that occur as a result of a customer mistake (e.g. not being able to remember a password to access the service).

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